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  • The Weekly Genealogist

  • Vol. 15, No. 1
    Whole #564
    January 4, 2012
    Edited by Lynn Betlock, Jean Powers, and Valerie Beaudrault
    dailygenealogist@nehgs.org

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    Greetings from the New England Historic Genealogical Society! This newsletter has been sent to people who asked to receive it. If you would like to unsubscribe or change your email address, please click on the link at the bottom of the email and follow the instructions provided.

    NEHGS collects, preserves, and interprets materials to document and make accessible the histories of families in America.

    Contents:
    * NEHGS Database News
    * NEHGS Launches New Discussion Board
    * Massachusetts Genealogical Council Seminar Call for Papers
    * The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife Conference Seeks Proposals
    * A Note from the Editor: Portland, Maine, Tax Records and Photos Available Online
    * Name Origins
    * This Week’s Survey
    * Spotlight: The Brantford Public Library, Ontario, Canada
    * Stories of Interest
    * Classic Reprints
    * Upcoming Education Programs
    * NEHGS Contact Information

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    NEHGS Database News

    by Sam Sturgis, Digital Collections Administrator, and Ryan Woods, Director of Internet Technology

    The Mayflower Descendant, Vols. 21–25

    NEHGS is pleased to update the Mayflower Descendant database with volumes 21 through 25, publication years 1919 to 1923.

    The Mayflower Descendant has been published by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants since 1899. It is an essential source of information on many New England families, and its focus is not limited to those with Mayflower lineage. The journal includes transcriptions and abstracts of deeds, wills, vital records, and other original documents. In addition, it features compiled genealogies and analytical studies of genealogical problems.

    The database covers volumes 1 to 25, 1899 to 1923. Additional volumes will be added throughout 2012.

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    NEHGS Launches New Discussion Board

    AmericanAncestors.org has launched a new genealogical discussion board. All are welcome to join this online community! Post genealogical questions, connect with other genealogists from around the world, and read postings from our expert staff on a variety of genealogical topics.

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    Massachusetts Genealogical Council Seminar Call for Papers

    The Massachusetts Genealogical Council (MGC) announces a call for papers for their July 21, 2012 seminar. The conference will feature an "Ethnicity and Genealogy" theme, and take place at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2012. More information.

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    The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife Conference Seeks Proposals

    The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife conference, The Irish in New England, June 22–24, 2012, seeks proposals on the historical Irish presence in New England, including all Irish immigrants and their descendants — Catholic/Protestant; North/South; Gaelic Irish, Hiberno-Norman, English settlers, Scotch-Irish; as well as migrants through Great Britain and British North America. Topics include the Irish language; revival of traditional music, dancing, and storytelling; foodways; linen production; male laborers/female servants; and larger issues of discrimination and class conflict, as well as railroad/canal construction, textile/shoe manufacturing; labor organization; spectator sports; shantytowns, urban enclaves, and rural settlements; and charitable/fraternal/religious organizations. The Seminar encourages original research, in primary sources such as letters, diaries, vital records, censuses, naturalization records, newspapers, portraits/prints/photographs, business records, material culture, oral histories, and autobiographies.

    The 37th meeting in the Seminar series, The Irish in New England, in Deerfield, Massachusetts, June 22–24, 2012, will consist of seventeen lectures of twenty minutes each. Selected papers will appear as the 2012 Annual Proceedings of the Dublin Seminar.

    To submit a proposal, please return a one-page prospectus citing sources and a one-page vita by January 15, 2012 to dublinseminar@historic-deerfield.org. Email proposals sent as attachments are encouraged, followed with a hard copy. Additional information about The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife is available online.


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    A Note from the Editor: Portland, Maine, Tax Records and Photos Available Online
    by Lynn Betlock, Editor

    Weekly Genealogist columns on October 5 and 17, 2011, featured information about tax photos available for New York City, Cook County, Illinois, and King County, Washington. Now 1924 tax records and photographs for Portland, Maine, are also being made available as a database on the Maine Memory Network, a Maine Historical Society website. The three-year project, a collaborative effort by the city of Portland, the Portland Public Library, and the Maine Historical Society, is expected to be completed this summer.  

    From the website: “The Portland, Maine, 1924 Tax Records were created as part of a city-wide tax reevaluation. The 2 3/4" x 4" original black and white photographs provide extraordinary documentation of the appearance and condition of every taxable property in the city at that time. The accompanying tax forms provide equally valuable information, including the use of the property, the original building materials and finishes and the property's assessed value as of 1924. On the back of each form, a pencil sketch illustrates the size and shape of the building footprint on the property.

    The collection consists of 131 books containing approximately 30,000 pages, each page recording a single property (properties with more than one building will generally have a page for each building). The records were kept in a cabinet in the Portland tax assessor's office in City Hall until 2009. They are now being scanned by a team of volunteers to provide greater public access while allowing the original documents to go into proper archival storage.” View the 1924 Portland Tax Records database.

    An article on the database appeared in the December 28 Portland Press Herald: Picturing Portland in the Digital Age: A Trove of Images that Offer an Unusually Detailed Glimpse of the City's Architecture in the Roaring ‘20s is Finding its Way Online.


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    Name Origins
    by Julie Helen Otto, Staff Genealogist

    APPHIA (f): A Christian woman of Colosse, who belonged to the household of Philemon, probably as his wife (Philemon 2). The Greek church honors her on 22 November, as having suffered martyrdom with Philemon and his slave Onesimus, in the reign of Nero, but on what documentation is not clear.

    In New England, this name is noticeable in vital records of towns in the vicinity of Salisbury and Amesbury, Mass., and Hampton, N.H. A very early bearer of this surname was Apphia (Hale) Rolfe (1642–1708), daughter of Thomas and Thomasine (Doucette) Hale (NEHGR 31 [1877]: 87); among her children was Apphia (Rolfe) Jepson (b. 1667), wife of John Jepson (NEHGR 31 [1877]: 87). Others bearing the name included Apphia Merrill, b. 25 Dec. 1704, daughter of Moses and Mary; Apphia Osgood, m. 7 Nov. 1780 Robert Morrill; Affee Merrill, daughter of James and Mary, b. 30 April 1741; Apphia Morrill, daughter of Jacob, bp. 12 June 1715, p. 161; Apphia Ann Morrill, 23 Aug. 1809–22 Feb. 1825, daughter of Benjamin and Miriam; Apphia Norton, daughter of David and Hannah (French) Norton, bp. 7 July 1745; m. 14 Dec. 1769 Barnard Thorn [Salisbury, Mass.]
    The name is also found early just north of these towns at Hampton, N.H.; cf. Apphia Philbrook, daughter of James and Ann (____) Philbrook, b. Hampton 19th, 1st mo. 1655 (Hampton VRs 1:89).


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    This Week's Survey

    Last week’s survey asked about your 2011 genealogical resolutions. The results are:

    • 50%, I didn't make any genealogical resolutions for 2011.
    • 19%, I fulfilled about half of my genealogical goals for 2011.
    • 15%, I completed about 25% of my genealogical goals for 2011.
    • 11%, I achieved about 75% of my genealogical goals for 2011.
    • 5%, I accomplished all my genealogical goals for 2011.

    This week's survey asks about your genealogical resolutions for 2012. Take the survey now!


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    Spotlight: The Brantford Public Library, Ontario, Canada
    by Valerie Beaudrault, Assistant Editor

    The Brantford Public Library (BPL), Ontario, Canada
    Brantford, Ontario, is located just west of Lake Ontario, about one hour from Toronto and Niagara Falls, New York. The Brantford Public Library has made a number of genealogy and local history resources available on their website. Their focus is primarily on the city of Brantford and Brant County.

    Birth, Marriage, Death Search Index (BMD)
    This searchable index contains names found in birth, marriage, and death notices that have appeared in the Brantford Expositor newspaper. The index covers most years between 1852 and 2010. Some years between 1852 and 1916 are missing from the source microfilm, and the years 1946 through 1949, 1951 through 1955, and 1957 through 1960 have not yet been indexed. Additional years will be added as indexing is completed. In some instance there are notices of anniversaries, divorces, birthdays, and naturalizations, in addition to the birth, marriage, and death notices. The library has provided a YouTube video on how to use the BMD Index. If you do not live in the Brantford area you may request copies of notices for a fee.

    Since 1852 the Brantford Expositor has been published under four titles: Brantford Conservative Expositor, Brantford Semi-Weekly Expositor, Brantford Weekly Expositor, and Brantford Expositor-Daily. Search fields include surname, which is required, first name, date limiters, and a drop down list with event type. Index users should be advised that the search results provide the date of the newspaper containing the notice, not the actual date of the event. The data fields in the search results include name, type of notice, date the notice appeared, page number, and notes. The ‘page’ field includes the newspaper title abbreviation. The ‘notes’ field contains information such as the name of the deceased’s spouse, names of a child’s parents, and references to other articles that mention the person about whom the notice was written.

    Digital Archives
    The website's Digital Archives contain a number of resources related to Brant County, its residents, and its history. You can search the database by title, publication, and author. Then you can limit your search by section type (collections), date range, and subject (list provided). The section types include Six Nations Documents, Pictorial Brantford/Brant County, Brantford/Brant County Documents, Commemorative Newspapers, and BPL Video Clips. The subjects include World War, 1914–1918 and 1939–1945; South African War, 1899–1902; Postal Service, Railroads; Newspapers; Alexander Graham Bell, 1847–1922; Brantford Directories, and many more.

    The resources found here include History of the County of Brant, Ontario (1883) by Warner, Beers, & Co.; a two-volume History of the County of Brant (1920) by F. Douglas Reville; special editions of local newspapers; a book of photographs of Brantford; calendars and commencement programs for the Brantford Young Ladies' College and Conservatory of Music from the late nineteenth century; and much more. All of these files are in PDF format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to download and view them.

    Virtual War Memorial for Brantford and the County of Brant
    This memorial commemorates individuals from Brantford, the County of Brant, and the peoples of the Six Nations who lost their lives during World War II. More than 6,000 men and women from Brant County served in the armed forces between 1939 and 1945. Over 300 were casualties of war. You can browse through the photographs and biographies in the Virtual War Memorial, which is organized alphabetically by last name, or you can search the Memorial by last name and/or first name. The Album of Honor, which gives the names of the men and women from Brant County who served during World War II, may be found in the Digital Archives section of the website. There are more than 3,500 photographs in this volume.


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    Stories of Interest

    Civil War's 150th Stirs a Trove of Memories
    New campaigns are underway to encourage the donation of Civil War-era material to state and local archives.

    ‘Whispers in the Dark’ Sheds Light on Casualties from War of 1812
    Jack Bilow of Plattsburgh, New York, has published A War of 1812 Death Register — Whispers in the Dark, a book which contains more than 20,000 names of militia members from New York, Vermont, and Pennsylvania, most of whom died along the U.S.–Canadian border.

    Unintended Donation: Goodwill Worker Returns Family Scrapbook

    An alert Goodwill employee in Butte, Montana, prevented a donated binder of genealogical information and family photographs from being discarded — and managed to return it to the grateful owner.


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    Classic Reprints

    Did you know that the NEHGS Book Store offers library-quality copies of over 10,000 rare and out-of-print books? Some titles ordered by recent customers include:

    • Biographical Sketch of Samuel Rowell and Notices of Some of His Descendants, with a Genealogy for Seven Generations, 1754–1898 (Item P4-H22773, $44.50)
    • History of the Harroun Family in America, Seven Generations of Descendants: Alexander Harroun of Colrain Massachusetts, 1691–1784 (Item P4-H13503, $41.00)
    • Winders of America: John of New York, 1674–5; Thomas of New Jersey, 1703–34; John of Maryland, 1665–98 (Item P4-S27774, $19.50)
    • Leconte History and Genealogy: with Particular Reference to Guillaume Leconte of New Rochelle and New York, and His Descendants (2 volumes) (Item P4-H17640, $171.00)
    • Descendants of the Earle and Morris Families of New York and New Jersey (Item P4-H09201, $25.50)


    Search the entire Classic Reprints catalog. If you would like a list of FAQs and search tips for the Classic Reprints catalog, simply send an email with "Classic Reprints" in the subject line to sales@nehgs.org.


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    Upcoming Education Programs

    Getting Started in Genealogy
    Wednesdays, February 15, 22, 29
    6 –8 p.m.
    How does one go about getting started in genealogy? There are plenty of websites, libraries, and printed sources available, but access to all that information can leave a beginner feeling overwhelmed. Let an NEHGS expert help navigate the first steps in tracing family history. Senior Researcher Rhonda R. McClure will share her knowledge and helpful strategies for beginning a family history journey in this three-part course. Pass this information on to that friend or family member who has been looking for the right place to start their own research! Tuition: $30. Registration required; register online or by phone at 617-226-1226.

    More information is available on AmericanAncestors.org.


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    NEHGS Contact Information

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    Copyright 2011, New England Historic Genealogical Society
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